Judges Easterbrook and Posner Disagree on Issue of Blagojevich Jurors' Names

Issue of Blagojevich jury names creates rift among judges
Ameet Sachdev
Chicago Tribune
July 16, 2010

The right to a public trial is written in the U.S. constitution, but when does the public have the right to know the names of jurors?

It's a timely question because in the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich the identities of jurors are being kept secret by the presiding judge until a verdict is rendered.

The federal appeals court in Chicago in a July 2 ruling did not look favorably on the secret Blagojevich jury. But on Thursday it was revealed that there is a rift in the appellate court over the media's right to the names.

In an 18-page opinion, Judge Richard Posner rebuked the July 2 decision written by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook. The two jurists rarely clash over legal reasoning, so Posner's strongly worded critique exposed a level of dissension over this case that has lawyers buzzing.

Richard A. Posner